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Off the Beaten Path: Titus Ascalon Tyche on Prow

David Atherton

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I was attracted to this coin's super busy reverse. There is so much ethnic symbolism crammed into its 23mm flan. The portrait too is quite crude and unusual.



Æ23, 11.02
Ascalon (Judaea) mint, 80-81 AD
Obv: ΣΕΒΑΣΤΟΣ; Head of Titus, laureate, r.
Rev: ΑΣΚΑΛΩ ΔΠΡ; Tyche standing, l., on prow with standard and aphlaston; in l. field incense altar; in r. field dove standing l.
RPC 2209 (8 spec.).
Acquired from Forvm Ancient Coins, June 2023.

In the years after the devastating Jewish revolt the pro-Roman harbour city of Ascalon produced a series of bronze coins under the Flavians. The coins copy types previously struck under Augustus and Nero. Here we see Tyche as a city goddess along with Ascalon's city symbol a dove. Pliny the Elder mentions Ascalon as the only oppidum liberum in the region during the first century AD (NH 5. 68).

NB: An aphlaston is the upward curving stern of an ancient warship.


In hand.



Feel free to share your own 'busy' reverse types.

As always, thank you for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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